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New Year's Diet Resolutions: Here's Why They're A Bad Idea

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Flickr: malias
Flickr: malias

Note: this piece is not written by a doctor; nor a nutritionist; not even a dietician. It's written by a food lover, and a serious one at that. Please keep this in mind as you read on. Also, understand that we are only talking about vanity diets, not the ones that are crucial for good health.

If I could make one wish, it just might be that the idea of diets completely disappears from our consciousness. And if that's too much to ask, I'd settle for doing away with the losing weight New Year's resolutions that nearly half of the population succumbs to. I'm generally a pretty easy-going person, but New Year's resolutions that have anything to do with not eating food make me mad.

It's not that I don't understand people's rationale behind the diet resolution. It's a new year, you want a new you AND you've just eaten your way through the holidays, meaning your clothes no longer fit. A diet quickly becomes an easy fix. (I myself have made this resolution more times than I can count.) But resolving to diet is a waste of a resolution -- especially when you can take this opportunity to make an awesome resolution, like mastering sourdough.

Going on a New Year's Eve diet is not only lame, but it's also like saying you love to fail. While everyone makes this resolution with the right intention, it's entirely unrealistic. Especially because most diets include giving up EVERYTHING we like -- which means you're resolving to live in a constant state of torture. In what world does that sound like a good idea? It's just not. Statistics show that some diet resolvers give up before the very first week is over; others give up before the end of the month, and nearly none make their goal by the year's end.

While I'm not going to get into the problems diets create when it comes to self-image, shame, guilt and so on, I can't help but feel angry about the fact that it makes people hate food. Food is not the enemy. Food is good. No wait, food is great. It keeps us alive, nourishes us, shapes our cultures, traditions, families. And diets, they destroy that.

When a diet tells us not to eat butter or to stay clear of carbs, it's teaching us to hate bread and to turn to (questionable) chemically-produced butter substitutes. It's teaching you that food is the enemy. And what did food ever do to us? Sure, if we ate a stick of butter for every meal a la Paula Deen, that would not be wise -- and could lead to serious health problems -- but if we eat it in moderation, we could probably partake in the joys of butter, every day, every year, for the rest of your life. Now that sounds like a good resolution to me.

So rather than waste a resolution that will most likely spark self-loathing and contribute to the unjust hatred of food, why not make a resolution that will focus on adding something positive to your life? Check out the New Year's Resolutions we made at HuffPost Taste. And if you've already made the resolution to diet, just know that it's not to late to change it.

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